US soldiers charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners

  1. Isn't this sad? At a time when we are supposed to be helping, these soldiers chose to represent their country like this? They give a bad name to all the decent soldiers over there.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2004/US/03/20...use/index.html

    Soldiers charged with abusing Iraqi prisoners
    From Barbara Starr
    CNN
    Saturday, March 20, 2004 Posted: 2159 GMT (0559 HKT)



    The military is investigating potential abuse of detainees by U.S. soldiers at Abu Gharib prison.

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    WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Six U.S. soldiers have been charged with offenses related to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at an Iraqi prison, the U.S. Army said Saturday.

    The soldiers are charged with assault, dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, conspiracy and indecent acts with another, U.S. Army spokesman Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt said.

    All of the military personnel are believed to be members of the 800th Military Police Brigade, which until recently guarded Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison.

    The soldiers, charged with violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, have been suspended from duty since the investigation began.

    Multiple sources said the allegations involve soldiers who took photographs of Iraqi prisoners in late 2003, including pictures that show the prisoners partially clothed or physical contact between soldiers and detainees.

    One source said "less than two dozen detainees" were subjected to the alleged abuse, which was reported by U.S. Army soldiers who witnessed it.

    Nine more military personnel and two civilian employees may also face severe administrative action, according to U.S. military sources. Eight of them are expected to receive letters of reprimand that effectively will end their military careers, the sources said.

    A civilian translator and a civilian interrogator are expected to be fired.

    The Army's Criminal Investigative Division's investigation concluded there is sufficient evidence to recommend charges. The final decision was the commander's.

    CNN has previously reported that 17 personnel at the prison were relieved of their duties, including a battalion commander, a company commander, three noncommissioned officers, and 12 military police directly involved in guard duties.

    Prisoners held by the United States in Iraq are accorded rights of dignity and may not be held up to public ridicule under the Geneva Conventions.

    A source indicated that taking pictures would be considered criminal activity unless it could be demonstrated it was done for official reasons related to processing and handling of detainees.

    The Pentagon official said some computer drives were seized by the CID in the search for the photographs and additional evidence of abuse.

    Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, head of coalition forces in Iraq, has also ordered an investigation to determine whether any problems exist in the chain of command
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   NurseHardee
    They are just being scapegoated here. The whole prison is a mess, and is a much bigger issue than just these few men. Here is an article in Salon about the situation there. There are 3 pages in the article...
    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2004/03/03/prison/
  4. by   elkpark
    These are the same US soldiers that so many posters on this BB want us to automatically respect (if not worship ) 100% of the time, no questions asked, right?? :chuckle

    I read the wire article in my morning paper today. Does anyone besides me think it's really tacky and tasteless and thoughtless of the US military to be holding prisoners in a former Iraqi prison known for torturing and murdering prisoners? Surely there has got to be someplace else they could be holding prisoners that doesn't have such horrible associations for the Iraqi public ...
  5. by   ktwlpn
    Quote from elkpark
    These are the same US soldiers that so many posters on this BB want us to automatically respect (if not worship ) 100% of the time, no questions asked, right?? :chuckle

    I read the wire article in my morning paper today. Does anyone besides me think it's really tacky and tasteless and thoughtless of the US military to be holding prisoners in a former Iraqi prison known for torturing and murdering prisoners? Surely there has got to be someplace else they could be holding prisoners that doesn't have such horrible associations for the Iraqi public ...
    This kind of thing has happened during every military action to a certain extent-a probably can be attributed to lack of leadership in the field....or poor leadership...Are you suggesting we go in an build brand new state of the art prison facilities in Iraq? They need hospitals and medical equipment way more....but how much more money should we dump into that sand lot?
  6. by   elkpark
    This kind of thing has happened during every military action to a certain extent-a probably can be attributed to lack of leadership in the field....or poor leadership...
    Which is exactly why I'm not a huge fan of members of the US military ... Thank you for making my point even clearer.

    Are you suggesting we go in an build brand new state of the art prison facilities in Iraq? They need hospitals and medical equipment way more....but how much more money should we dump into that sand lot?
    Well, since I was opposed to our going there from the get-go, I'm not interested in spending ANY money there. And I'm certainly not talking about building a "brand new state of the art" prison -- it just seems to me that there must be some other building already there that could be used, OTHER THAN a former prison that was notorious among the Iraqi people for torturing and murdering prisoners. Poor public relations, doncha think?

    It will be interesting to see how much more of the limited public support the US has among the Iraqi people will evaporate as these kind of charges become public (and I'm sure there will be more over time).

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